Imagine all your house's disgusting, germ-filled corners, and you will never think of this one. You will most likely picture the bin, kitchen sink, floor or toilet. What if it turned out that your spice jars were the dirtiest items in your house? After reading this, you'll never look at the same way again.
The latest study commissioned by the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) revealed that spice jars are the hot spots for cross-contamination of germs.
The researchers asked 371 participants to try out new recipes and prepare meals in test kitchens using raw ground turkey patties and a ready-to-eat salad. They wanted to see how much cross-contamination happens in a kitchen and where it occurs.
The turkey meat contained a "tracer organism", a virus called MS2, so the researchers could track cross-contamination. The participants were not made aware of the fact.
The researchers then tested all the surfaces in the kitchen, including knives, sponges, tap handles and chopping boards. They discovered that MS2 cross-contamination was found on most surfaces such as knives, sponges or chopping boards less than 20 per cent of the time. But spice jars were contaminated 48 per cent of the time!
Spice jars had never been tested before. But this can serve as a pretty shocking reminder to wipe down all of your spice containers after you use them while cooking your food.